Sociedade Brasileira De Cirurgia Bariatrica E Metabolica - SBCBM Promo, Case study OBESITY WITHOUT MARKS by Ketchum Sao Paulo


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Industry Hospitals, Healthcare facilities & Medical Services
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Brazil
Agency Ketchum Sao Paulo
Released April 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Healthcare and Services
Partner Director: Rosana Monteiro (Ketchum)
Account Director: Andrea Moraes (Ketchum)
Corporate Communications Manager: Alexandra Aparicio (Ketchum)
Account Executive: Adriana Solinas (Ketchum)
Public Relations: Carlos Alessandro (Ketchum)
Digital Analyst: Ciro Jose (Ketchum)
Director Ketchum Digital: Fernando Neves (Ketchum)
President: Dr Ricardo Cohen (Sociedade Brasileira De Cirurgia Bariátrica E Metabólica (SBCBM))
Vice President: Dr Carlos Aurelio Schiavon (Sociedade Brasileira De Cirurgia Bariátrica E Metabólica (SBCBM))
Media placement: Digital - Http:// - April To August, 2011
Media placement: Public Relations - Meetings With Parliamentarians, Consumer Rights Personnel, And Top Medical Representatives - April To July, 2011
Media placement: Advocacy - Federal Government Approval For Bariatric Surgery By Video To Be Covered By Health Plans. - 2nd August, 2011
Media placement: Media Relations - Globonews, UOL, IG, Folha De SP, Estado De SP, Zero Hora, Portal Terra, Etc - March To August, 2011
Media placement: Public Relations - Partnerships With Entities Such As IFSO, Parliamentary Sector Of Health, And Consumer Rights Depart - March To April, 2011
Media placement: Digital - Http:// - April, 2011
Media placement: Digital - Https:// - April, 2011
Media placement: Digital - Https:// - April, 2011

Summary of the Campaign
Studies show that obesity is officially an epidemic. Lately, bariatric surgery has been the ‘go-to’ procedure that doctors now recommend. This procedure, also known as stomach-reduction, can be more invasive and painful (the open method), or less invasive (done by video). The private health plans in Brazil covered the surgery but this was obligated, under federal law, only if done by the open method. This had to change in order for patients to be treated in a better manner with less risk of infections.

The PR firm partnered with SBCBM to contribute towards the revision of procedures covered by law, recommending bariatric surgery by video to the government regulatory body handling private health plans. The firm also organized an online petition and encouraged a public consultation, promoted by the government, by involving parliamentarians in the cause.

Opinion makers were engaged in the “Obesity Without Marks: Less Invasive Surgery is a Right” campaign. Hotsites, printed materials, and social medias helped start a big movement. The cause’s press-coverage was also fundamental.

After 6 months of hard work, the goal was achieved: the law was changed so that bariatric surgery by video was included on the list of procedures obligated to be covered by private health-plans.

The Situation
Morbid obesity has increased in Brazil, over the past few years, and affects 5.7m people.

Every year, 60,000 Brazilians undergo the open method of bariatric surgery. However, the health plans don’t cover the less invasive method. Patients underwent the open method with higher risks and a lengthier hospital time.

The government regulatory body that handles private health-plans updates its list every 2 years. As the next update was scheduled for 2011, the PR firm and SBCBM felt that this was the moment to alert the government and the population about the benefits of the less invasive surgery (done by video) and to guarantee a patient's right to have it.

The Goal
To raise awareness for the patients waiting for bariatric surgery about their right to be operated on by video. The goal was also to engage patients and influencers to support SBCBM’s proposal to change the law.

The PR firm focused on the following stakeholders: medical clinics involved in treating obesity, the main consumer-defense entities, patient-help organizations, media, parliamentarians dedicated to health, opinion-makers, and the federal government.

The Strategy
The main strategy was to launch the 'Obesity Without Marks: Less Invasive Surgery is a Right' campaign. To support this, the campaign focused on an online petition, media relations, social networks and updating SBCBM’s site and company grounds. By expounding the topic and gathering influencers, it was possible to encourage public consultation and debate on the health plans, made by the Brazilian government.

The key-messages were:

• Deciding whether to undergo bariatric surgery by video or not is the doctor’s decision and a patient’s right;
• This less-invasive surgery is faster, safer, and more comfortable;
• The patient recovers more quickly and is in hospital for less time;
• Although the immediate cost is higher, in the long term the method is money-saving, because the patient spends less time in the hospital and there is less chance of complications.

The campaign hotsite hosted the online petition in favour of bariatric surgery by video, swinging visitors' opinions to the side of public consultation. Apart from scientific research, statistics, graphs, illustrations, releases, videocasts, flyers and news coverage, strategic interaction with the public was also done through e-mail marketing, electronic flyers, press releases, social medias, visits to parliamentarians, and updating the SBCBM website and the printed bulletin.

Along with the SBCBM spokespeople, public authorities, members of the health-committees in Parliament, private medical doctors, consumer defense-lawyers, and patients backed the campaign. All opinion-makers received a kit to better understand bariatric surgery, its indications, its benefits, and the cost-effectiveness of the less-invasive method. In order to draw even more attention and endorsement to the campaign, the PR firm sought partnerships for SBCBM with respectable entities in the health division.

Documented Results
- Partnerships formed with 10 entities, including IFSO (International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders), Parliamentary Sector of Health, and Consumer Rights Department;
- Petition with over 2.000 signatures;
- Hotsite with 13,541 hits and 34,000 page views;
- Facebook responsible for 10% of website visitors;
- Over 80 interviews given (1/3 in tier 1 outlets);
- Over 500 articles in different media outlets;
- Over 200m media impressions;
- 235 Orkut communities and 181,000 users reached;
- 536,000 users on Twitter reached;
- 55 blog posts;
- 15 meetings with parliamentarians, consumer rights personnel, and top medical-representatives;
- A report sent by parliamentarian to the president of the Health Plan Regulations Agency mentioned the campaign and stated bariatric surgery less invasive;
- On August 2nd, 2011, the federal government approved bariatric surgery by video as a procedure required to be covered by health plans, effective as of January 1st, 2012. A historical victory for the Brazilian society.